“We think sometimes we’re only drawn to the good, but we’re actually drawn to the authentic. We like people who are real more than those who hide their true selves under layers of artificial niceties.” – Life Lessons by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler
I’ve often inquired about why certain people hang out with me, it is sort of a way I reflect on myself and seek improvement. I’m not exceptionally nice or attractive, I’m far from wealthy, and while I think I am pretty smart I have not really come up with anything groundbreaking or particularly creative. I have often been told that I’m authentic though, and I guess there is something there that attracts people.
I guess it makes sense from an evolutionary level. It is better to be surrounded by people who are mean but you can trust to act as they say they will act instead of “nice” people who may not be authentic. Most of the women in my life are very aware that I would enjoy adding a sexual element to our relationship, and yet I am not seen as crass or chauvinistic. I think this open honesty also accurately tells them that I would never be dishonest or deceitful or take advantage of them. Authenticity shows that our desires do not control our actions, that we will not compromise our integrity for short term gain.
I think there is the same danger with recognizing authenticity within oneself as recognizing any other trait. It can become a role that you take on and utilize for its own sake. You can become “the authentic one” and define your life by an unending pursuit of authenticity. Then it loses it’s appeal, just like a person who loves cooking soon defines themselves as “chef” or a person who sees the benefit defines themselves as “yogi”. Instead of using these different tools to become our true selves we use them as a mask over our true selves.
I don’t really have a conclusion to this post. I’m now reading “Life Lessons” and so far it is really good. I think many people could benefit from a little reflection on what wisdom can be gleaned from those who are on the edge of life.